UTICA, N.Y. - Comets defenseman Brogan Rafferty added to his impressive rookie season as a pro as he was named to the AHL All-Rookie Team, Tuesday.
"It's a huge honor," said Rafferty via Zoom video chat. "Obviously all of the guys that were selected are really good players and I'm just very honored and humbled to receive that award. I played with a lot of really high end players this year that helped me have the success that I had and I owe a lot of it to them, and to the coaching staff for putting me in great situations."
The 24-year-old undrafted free agent out of Quinnipiac University signed with the Vancouver Canucks on April 1, 2019 and upon entering the professional ranks in the minors in Utica, turned heads quickly.
Rafferty played in 57 games this shortened 2019-20 season where he registered 45 points (7g, 38a), setting a new Comets franchise record for points in a single-season by a defenseman. That topped Bobby Sanguinetti's mark of 40 points set in the 2014-15 season.
Due to his play, he was selected as an AHL All-Star, representing the Comets at the 2020 AHL All-Star Classic in Ontario, California in January.
He finished fifth on the team this year for points, leading all defensemen on the Comets.
On an even bigger scale, Rafferty lead the AHL in scoring for rookie defensemen and was third overall league-wide for points among all defensemen. He had a plus-17 rating and lead all rookies with his 38 assists.
"I could have never have seen this coming," he said regarding the type of rookie season he had. "I just put the work in and [thought] just don't go into the season with too high of expectations. Just know that I am capable of doing good things when I put the work in."
Set to turn 25 on May 28, the native of West Dundee, Illinois, a suberb of Chicago, hopes to take the next step and make and the Canucks' NHL roster out of camp next season. He said his motivation over the summer will be not appearing in an NHL game this season.
However, regardless of where he ends up in the future, he said he will always have fond memories of beginning his career in Utica.
"It was amazing," he said. "I didn't know what to expect when I came in. I've heard a lot of great things about Utica and especially how passionate the fans are, but it was just amazing to see the impact we have on the community in Utica and how much support that they show us every night.
"It was a special experience and I definitely won't forget it."
To view the full AHL All-Rookie Team consisting of six players by position, click here.